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a little bit more about me

My name is Beth and I accidentally have found myself living in Arizona but I'm originally from Tennessee. My education is in history and anthropology, which means that I know a little about a lot of things and can hold my own at a cocktail party in mixed company. I work in museums, doing all sorts of things ranging from researching and writing exhibits to cataloguing absolute wickety wak. I love comedy, baking, photography, my daughter, dogs, and above all else, napping.*

* 2013 edit: Oh yeah, and my new son too.

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    Entries in friends (3)


    Good friends are hard to find

    Yesterday I was lamenting about the difficulty of making new friends at work (among other things). Here's a perfect example. I have a coworker who I've often thought should be friends with me. So I followed what I think to be normal make-a-friend protocol: I introduced myself first, I have since chatted with her from time to time, sometimes at great length, I've IM'd her, and discovered tons that we have in common. We're both from the South, she used to work in the same field as My Better Half and so we know some of the same companies and people, she loves all things food, and she has a kid just a hair younger than my oldest. So over time I've tried to transition our workquaitance into more of a friendship and...it's gone absolutely nowhere. I've stopped by and asked her out to coffee: no, thanks. I've invited her to things that I get invited to with other moms: no, thanks. I've asked if she wants to check out the farmer's market or go to this photography exhibit sometime or: no, no, no. Always no. So I basically gave up.

    Today I stumbled on her blog. And I can't decide if I feel even MORE rejected because I'm seeing how much we really do have in common (likes: coffee breaks, walks, babies, photography, baking, and cocktails) that's making me seethe with rage at her successful blog, or if it's just her smug-ass tone. The whole thing reeks of "look at me and my cute little family effortlessly identifying and then seamlessly achieving all our life goals one by one!" tone. It's really hard for me to relate to, either because of the current uncertainties that underpin our lives at this moment or because I live over here. IN THE REAL WORLD where life can be HARD and can't be photoshopped to perfection. And/or because I'm bitter as all hell that someone else seems to have achieved my perfect blend of working as a writer and still having the time + energy + spousal support to devote to one's own personal creative outlets. 

    So I needed a gut check and sent the blog to my BFF without commentary.

    Her: huh. So why *aren't* you friends with her?

    Me: I dunno, ask her. I've made an effort for a year now, and gotten shut down every time.

    Her, five minutes later: I dunno, she seems a little...smug?

    Me: YES! THANK YOU! I wasn't sure if it was just that I'm having a hard time relating to her perfect little life or seething with jealousy and/or bitter?

    Her: Well, then file me under: bitter as sh*t too.

    And that's why we're BFFs. 


    Disclosure Agreement

    When you have good friends visiting you in your new place, I think you should be required to disclose at the following:

    Hey, by the way, our new house has an indoor hot tub! Bring your suits!!

    While I'm at it, It'd also be nice to say, uh, that rattle your baby is chewing on isn't colorfast. Her whole mouth is black. And her face. And her hands.

    But I'd settle for the first disclosure.



    I'm not a big fan of Facebook. I used to be, but like all things interwebz, it has largely lost its appeal. However, because I moved from Tennessee to Arizona, it is one of the easiest ways for me to check in with friends from back "home" (if I dare still call it that, since I've been in Arizona 11 years...) Even when I haven't logged on in a while, I can go to their wall, see what they've been up to, and, from afar, peek into their world. Some of the best friends I've ever made and ever will have had the luck to have known I made while I lived in Tennessee, and I miss them terribly. For a ton of reasons - money, not much vacation time at the jobs I've had, and the time difference - I've had very few chances to visit. In fact, only one that didn't involve ducking out on family - if I'm going to take an expensive 4 hour flight to lose 6 hours (due to the time difference) over just a weekend, it's hard not to see family. But I've always considered my close friends to be family, too. And in some ways, a more important family - the family that you choose, rather than the family you are dealt. So, even though it's not the face-to-face time and relationship I'd like in an ideal world, having the ability to stay connected through Facebook has meant more to me than perhaps they would ever suspect.

    So I was absolutely devastated tonight to log into Facebook to discover that my best friend from high school has deleted her profile and disappeared completely. 

    She and I hadn't been great at keeping in touch - it's been since 1994 that we lived in the same place, but even through college and grad school, she and I saw each other every chance we could get, occasionally emailed, and caught up on the phone from time to time. We'd lost touch when her email address had changed after grad school, and I found myself wondering how in the hell I would find her again and wishing I had taken pre-emptive action to make sure I had an up-to-date phone number and mailing address for her. Then, much to my relief, she eventually joined Facebook. We messaged back and forth, sharing details about our private lives and effortlessly picked up where we'd left off. We didn't message all that frequently, but it was a great comfort that I knew where I could find her when I needed her. Again, I took that connection for granted. She and I had a friendship like none other I've ever had - she was there for me in some of the darkest hours of my life, she was there when I have been blissfully happy, our relationship had stood the test of time. I always felt that, no matter how many years passed, I could show up at her house and she would warmly bring me into the fold, give me a bedroom to crash in, and stay up until all hours with me, laughing hysterically, or tucking me in and staying by my side while I sobbed. Because we have done all of those things together. I was there when she met her husband, when she got engaged, when she got married, for the birth of her first son. She has been there for me - when I got dumped, when I met someone new, when I moved to Arizona, when I got married, and when I had baby, even if only via Facebook message. I've had a picture of her and me at my bedside for at least 13 years straight. So now, to find that she has vaporized from the site...I just don't have any words.

    Sometimes when baby cries and I can't figure out what's wrong with her, I just tell her over and over that everything is going to be okay. I wish there were someone who could do that for me right now.